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THE San Diego Cheeseburger

Hodad's, San Diego, Cheeseburger, Onion Rings, Fries, Milkshake

In San Diego there is an ongoing debate in the city, not about politics or the environment, but simply about where to find the best burger.  The two contenders are Hodad’s and… that other burger joint in Pacific Beach.

For the honesty of journalism I will say that I have never eaten at “that other place in PB”. My theory is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, in this case, if you find the perfect burger, why go anywhere else!

Hodad's, San Diego, Downtown, Ocean Beach, Menu, Cheeseburgers, Frings

It’s not even so much the burger though, it’s the combination of a piled high juicy burger with a side of thick and crispy homemade fries and freshly battered onion rings. And oh yeah, the ringer, the chocolate milkshake which is flown down by little angels from Heaven every time one is ordered. Yes, that is how amazing this milkshake is.

Hodad's, Chocolate, Milkshake, San Diego, Ice Cream, Syrup, Milk

It’s chocolate ice cream with chocolate milk with chocolate syrup, blended up and topped with more chocolate ice cream and chocolate syrup.

Hodad's, San Diego, Chocolate, Milkshake, Ice Cream, Syrup, MilkDo I look happy here?

Hodad's, chocolate, milkshake, whitney bond, san diego, straw, ice cream, shake

Blissful maybe? I think ecstatic would be the word I’m looking for. And who wouldn’t be with this deliciousness in front of you!

Hodad's, San Diego, Chocolate, Milkshake, Ice Cream, Syrup, Milk

Yes, that is two spoons you see.  I actually shared this little piece of Heaven with my Mom.

After all, I did have to save some room for the real deal, THE San Diego cheeseburger.

Hodad's, San Diego, Downtown, Ocean Beach, Bacon, Cheeseburger, Lettuce, Pickles, Tomato

This is the MINI bacon cheeseburger. Yes, Mini.  There is also a single and a double with the increase in size to boot.

Don’t be fooled, I have taken down a double before, but with the double there is generally no room left in the belly for the scrumptious sides, and that is just a crime.

Hodad's, San Diego, Downtown, Ocean Beach, Food Network, Diners Drive Ins and Dives, Cheeseburger

Although I may not go for the “can’t even wrap your mouth around the whole burger” double, I definitely don’t skimp on the toppings. Delicious American cheese, crispy bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and their thick cut white onions, which takes me to my next topic of discussion, the almighty onion rings.

I will admit, I did some Onion Ring battering during my 9 month stint of working at Sonic when I was 16. It’s not a fun job, but it has to be done to get those super fresh, never frozen, crispy bites of delicious fried onion.

Hodad's, San Diego, Onion Rings, French Fries, Fresh, HomemadeSee what’s hiding below that massive pile of crisp onion goodness, yeah that would be their fresh-cut fries. Thick cut, well seasoned and, you guessed it, delicious!

Don’t just take my word for it.  My man Guy thought it was pretty good too!  So good, that he did a little show about it.  Maybe you’ve heard of it, Triple D, AKA Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.

Guy Fieri, Diners Drive Ins and Dives, San Diego, Downtown, Ocean Beach, Food Network, Hodad's, Restaurant

THE San Diego Cheeseburger originated in Ocean Beach at the first Hodad’s location. Since then they have opened a second location in Downtown San Diego.  Now, I’m all for expanding successful businesses but I will admit I was weary of trying out the “non-orignal” Hodad’s.

Would it be the same?  Would those little angels be able to find the new location to drop down my heavenly milkshake? Was there something about the ocean air coming in off the beach that made the burger so juicy and fries so crispy?

I can now say for a fact that the downtown location is just as good as the original, the little angels found it just fine and you can expect the juiciness, crispiness and same friendly-in-a-bad-ass-sort-of-way service that you expect at Hodad’s!

Hodad's, Downtown, San Diego, Broadway, Restaurant, tenth avenueVisit the original Hodad’s at 5010 Newport Ave. Ocean Beach CA 92107 or Hodad’s Downtown at 945 Broadway Avenue San Diego CA 92101. You can also visit them online at hodadies.com. Dig in and enjoy!

Blackened Red Snapper

As a food blogger I have an ongoing list of dishes I want to make.  Either I’ll see something on the Food Network, eat something out that I want to re-create or come up with a random idea to make crouton baskets (coming soon!) while taking a shower!  Inspiration for the blog comes from everywhere and the list keeps growing!

This particular dish has been on the list so long that I don’t even remember where the original inspiration came from!  It would be a safe bet to say the Food Network though. It’s always on at my house!  If it weren’t for sports, Guy Fieri and Next Food Network Star I would have absolutely no use for cable or a TV!

This dish finally came to fruition after making the delicious Squash Puppies.  What better reason than to go all out on a Cajun dinner complete with Blackened Snapper and Blackened Purple Potatoes.

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

  • 2 large red snapper fillets
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano

Start by combining all of the seasonings together. Use a mortar and pestle (if available) to grind the thyme and oregano.

Next, spread the blackening mix generously over both sides of each fish.

Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the seasoning to marinate in.

Next, fire up the grill to medium and place the fish on top.

Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side. Be sure to watch it because being a thin and delicate fish it cooks very quickly.

After it’s grilled to perfection, it’s ready to serve.  I topped mine with lemon butter. Simply melt 3 tbsp of butter then add to it the juice of 1 lemon. Voila! We also served my Mango Avocado Salsa on the side and it was amazing with the snapper!

Time to eat!

♣ If a member of your family doesn’t eat fish (my Mom) you can repeat the exact recipe using a chicken breast, just increase the cooking time on the grill. We made this for her and she loved it!

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is Gluten-Free.

The Mile High Pastrami Sandwich

When I set off to Houston, Texas for the next stop on my Summer Adventure Travel Schedule, I went to Twitter to find out where I should eat while I was in town!

The producers of one of my favorite Food Network shows, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, replied to my tweet to Guy Fieri about where to eat.  They gave me several great recommendations and started a serious Twit-versation!

My favorite of their recommendations I visited was Kenny and Ziggy’s.

A New York style Delicatessen right in the heart of Houston, boosting the best pastrami sandwich I’ve ever had!

I created my own sandwich with half pastrami and half turkey. I spread a little Russian Dressing on top and that was all this mountain of meat needed!

My Dad got the #1 half pastrami, half corned beef, swiss cheese, cole slaw and russian dressing. He let me snag a bite and it was also a killer choice!

My Mom had the roast beef with au jus and sweet potato fries.  Her sandwich was good but the sweet potato fries were awesome! I find that sweet potato fries can end up soggy and not as crisp as traditional fries, but these were more like sweet potato strings, thin, crisp and delicious!

Nana got the Reuben.  Looks like she liked it!

Guess it runs in the family…

That was just the beginning!  Half way done…

I couldn’t stop there, the rest of that sandwich of meaty deliciousness was staring me down! Then this happened…

Yup, that entire monstrosity of a sandwich was gone! Little girl, big appetite strikes again!

Thanks to the Match Cut Crew for their tweet on this amazing spot!  Will definitely be back next time I’m in town!

If you want to visit Kenny and Ziggys to get in on the Mile High Pastrami Sandwich action, go to their website for the location and hours.